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Volume 624 Issue 7990, 7 December 2023

Internal clocks

Animal studies have shown that the ageing process varies not only between individuals but also between organs within an individual. In this week’s issue, Tony Wyss-Coray and his colleagues reveal that this ageing difference holds true for humans, too. The researchers assessed levels of human blood plasma proteins originating from 11 organs to measure organ-specific ageing differences in 5,676 adults. They found that nearly one-fifth of the people showed strongly accelerated ageing in one organ and 1.7% showed ageing in multiple organs. The team suggests that blood proteins offer a ready way to detect the ageing effects in organs, and could help to track health and disease.

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This Week

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  • News & Views

    • Genomic data from ancient humans who lived up to 7,400 years ago, sampled from across California and Mexico, unveil patterns of migration that could explain how some Indigenous languages spread in parts of North America.

      • Alan Izarraras-Gomez
      • Diego Ortega-Del Vecchyo
      News & Views
    • Causal evidence shows that referring people who are at risk of developing diabetes to a nationwide lifestyle-change programme can result in health improvements — but only if programme participation can be sustained.

      • Edward W. Gregg
      • Naomi Holman
      News & Views
    • A mismatch in how carbon emissions are reported could endanger nations’ best efforts to meet targets for curbing climate change. A method for translating between reporting conventions offers a path forward.

      • Chris D. Jones
      • Alexander J. Askew
      News & Views
    • Scientists have long sought to understand what drives biodiversity changes. A study unifies ideas about marine and terrestrial biodiversity in one explanatory framework, pointing to physical geography as dictating life’s trajectory.

      • Alexandre Pohl
      News & Views
    • An innovative method uses the intrinsic attractive force between silicon surfaces that are separated by a tiny gap to engineer structures that can confine light — offering an ideal set-up for manipulating single photons.

      • Takashi Asano
      News & Views
    • The time frame of a species’ origins provides context for evolutionary questions. However, dates from fossils are often inconsistent with estimates from genetic data. Emerging evidence points to a new explanation for this discrepancy.

      • Matt Pennell
      News & Views
  • Articles

    • Silicon photonic nanocavities based on surface forces and conventional lithography and etching are developed, demonstrating pioneering technology that integrates atomic dimensions with the scalability of planar semiconductors.

      • Ali Nawaz Babar
      • Thor August Schimmell Weis
      • Søren Stobbe
      Article Open Access
    • By using a pump–probe atomic force microscopy detection scheme, electron spin transitions between non-equilibrium triplet states of individual pentacene molecules, as well as the ability to manipulate electron spins over tens of microseconds, is demonstrated.

      • Lisanne Sellies
      • Raffael Spachtholz
      • Jascha Repp
      Article Open Access
    • A miniaturized narrow-channel in-plane electrochemical capacitor shows drastically reduced ionic resistances within both the electrode material and the electrolyte and an ultrahigh areal capacitance by downscaling the channel width with femtosecond-laser scribing.

      • Yajie Hu
      • Mingmao Wu
      • Liangti Qu
    • A protocol using large-scale training of graph networks enables high-throughput discovery of novel stable structures and led to the identification of 2.2 million crystal structures, of which 381,000 are newly discovered stable materials.

      • Amil Merchant
      • Simon Batzner
      • Ekin Dogus Cubuk
      Article Open Access
    • An autonomous laboratory, the A-Lab, is presented that combines computations, literature data, machine learning and active learning, which discovered and synthesized 41 novel compounds from a set of 58 targets after 17 days of operation.

      • Nathan J. Szymanski
      • Bernardus Rendy
      • Gerbrand Ceder
      Article Open Access
    • Analysis of ground-sourced and satellite-derived models reveals a global forest carbon potential of 226 Gt outside agricultural and urban lands, with a difference of only 12% across these modelling approaches.

      • Lidong Mo
      • Constantin M. Zohner
      • Thomas W. Crowther
      Article Open Access
    • Aligning the IPCC-assessed mitigation pathways with the national greenhouse gas inventories shows that key global mitigation benchmarks become harder to achieve, requiring achieving earlier net-zero and lower cumulative emissions.

      • Matthew J. Gidden
      • Thomas Gasser
      • Keywan Riahi
      Article Open Access
    • The prevalence of annual plants worldwide rises in response to hot-dry summers, year-to-year variations, and disturbances, potentially impacting the future of ecosystem services provided by perennials.

      • Tyler Poppenwimer
      • Itay Mayrose
      • Niv DeMalach
    • We use a whole-cell accumulation assay to assess the ability of non-antibiotic, structurally diverse small molecules to accumulate in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, with potential application in developing drugs to target this pathogen.

      • Emily J. Geddes
      • Morgan K. Gugger
      • Paul J. Hergenrother
    • Analyses of causal gene regulatory networks have identified key checkpoints mediating the progressive differentiation of CD8+ cytotoxic T cells, findings that have implications for anticancer immunotherapies such as adoptive cell therapy and immune checkpoint blockade.

      • Peipei Zhou
      • Hao Shi
      • Hongbo Chi
      Article Open Access
    • Blood plasma protein data was combined with machine learning models for a simple method to determine differences in organ-specific aging; the study provides a basis for the prediction of diseases and aging effects using plasma proteomics.

      • Hamilton Se-Hwee Oh
      • Jarod Rutledge
      • Tony Wyss-Coray
      Article Open Access
    • After loss of MSL2, a class of dosage-sensitive genes transitions from biallelic to monoallelic expression, whereby one allele remains active, retaining active histone modifications and transcription factor binding, and the other allele is silenced, exhibiting loss of promoter–enhancer contacts and the acquisition of DNA methylation.

      • Yidan Sun
      • Meike Wiese
      • Asifa Akhtar
      Article Open Access
    • A protein interaction network constructed with data from high-throughput affinity enrichment coupled to mass spectrometry provides a highly saturated yeast interactome with 31,004 interactions, including low-abundance complexes, membrane protein complexes and non-taggable protein complexes.

      • André C. Michaelis
      • Andreas-David Brunner
      • Matthias Mann
      Article Open Access
    • Binding of a sialoglycan-based primary receptor by the spike protein of the common cold human coronavirus HKU1 triggers conformational changes to a state that would allow binding to a second receptor required for cell entry.

      • Matti F. Pronker
      • Robert Creutznacher
      • Daniel L. Hurdiss
      Article Open Access
    • We demonstrate that the transmembrane protease TMPRSS2 is a receptor for coronavirus HKU1; it triggers HKU1-mediated cell–cell fusion and viral entry by binding to both HKU1A and HKU1B spikes.

      • Nell Saunders
      • Ignacio Fernandez
      • Olivier Schwartz
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